Climbing, my hobby

by on under General
3 minute read

Many have asked me why did you start climbing, isn’t it a bit too extreme? Yes and no. It can be very dangerous, especially if you are careless. Before delving into that, I’ll tell you a little bit of my background.

I have been aware and paid attention to my health and fitness pretty much always. However I’ve never found a fitting hobby which truly motivates me and makes me want to exercise beyond the point of maintaining (and maybe improving) my overall condition. In addition to being in shape physically, I’ve been interested in mental wellbeing and maintaining it. Yes, you may argue they’re intertwined, but I think it is not that simple. Anyhow, this is the baseline. I might briefly add that one of the things which intrigue me is problem solving, which is also one of my strengths.

So how does these things relate to climbing? I pondered how to put it in words, but then came to realisation - that is climbing, literally. It is all about physical fitness, mentality and problem solving. First one is rather obvious, physicality is needed for pulling, moving and twisting your body. Generally speaking, while it mainly targets upper body muscles, you still get a full body workout out of it and flexibility is an advantage, so stretching is encouraged. Mental side is not just about dealing with heights, but also committing to the moves you are going to execute - “will my hands be wrecked if I fail; or will I tumble down?” Also a great thing on this side is that you basically have to focus your thoughts on what you are doing, thus it forces you to shift out of whatever your mind would be occupied with otherwise. What about problem solving? Well, it’s not always straightforward to get to the top of the route. Often you’ll have to pause to think “and how I’m supposed to move from here to there?” In fact that’s something you have to do quite much with a little bit harder routes.

To add to the problem solving part. I mainly do bouldering, which is a subgenre of climbing. It is climbing without a rope and harness - or any other equipment. Commonly the height of a boulder is around 5-7 meters and at the bottom you have pads where you can fall. Well, anyways, what I wanted to add is that actually in bouldering you don’t call “the routes” routes, but Boulder Problems. Often they are more difficult to figure out and top than the routes where the length of the route is a major factor.

All of that would be enough for me to keep myself motivated, but there’s more! I do like games a lot and sure enough I find a relation between climbing and gaming. There is a level/experience system built in to climbing! All of the routes and problems are graded by difficulty, which means the higher the grade, the more experience is required. How neat is that? You can see your progress without even tracking it and you can level up. Now you’d think that’s all. But nope. In addition to all of this, I very much like being in nature and where else you’d do outdoors climbing - yep, exactly. I guess I have to mention though, most of the time I spend climbing, it’s in indoors gyms; partially because of the weather conditions in Finland.

Getting back to where we started, yes, you’ll most likely eventually get some level of injuries. Although if you are even somewhat careful on what you are doing, you can probably avoid major injuries. Minor damage is inevitable, such as torn skin (fingers) and small bruises. Maybe even mild wrist sprain or something similar, but that’s usually due to lack of proper technique.

As of writing this, I have had climbing as a hobby for one and a half years. Therefore it’s relatively new thing for me, but as you can tell by reading this post, I will most definitely continue climbing for years to come. For you, I recommend to try it if you haven’t already :)

wellbeing, hobby
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